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Spring in the Scottish Borders &

English Lake District

        April 23-30 2022

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join

Oh, the cherry blossoms filling the air of leafy Edinburgh, and the daffodils nodding their golden heads in the fields full of bouncing lambs! We're exploring the stunning capital city of Scotland in its most beautiful season, sketching, making, and interpreting the spirit of place. Then, (just when you may never want to leave!), we're whisking you away for something completely different...the bucolic, gentle, rolling hills of the Scottish Borders. We’ll also take a dip into the English Lake District – two countries in one holiday! The Borders feel so far removed, tranquil, and very distant from the everyday, and the Lake District has inspired poets and artists (Beatrix Potter’s little bunny lived here) for centuries. We'll be looking into the rich crafting heritage of this woolly area, and sketching some of our favorite scenery in all Scotland (think Tolkien’s Shire) in our own, carefully curated way - with plenty of time for tea and cakes!

begin

We start our journey with two days in Edinburgh - the capital city of Scotland, and UNESCO world heritage site. You’ll have a VIP meeting at the airport with a kilted Scotsman, who will whisk you away to your own boutique property in the city! Curate your day, your way - relaxing or wandering the jumbled cobblestones in this quirky, ancient city that has inspired artists and writers for generations.
Later, you’ll sip with a glass of wine with us, and experience our grand opening dinner, celebrating your arrival with tales from Scotland’s bard, and the skirl of the pipes.

 

High in the misty Highlands, out by the purple islands, brave are the hearts that beat beneath Scottish skies. Wild are the winds to meet you, staunch are the friends that greet you, kind as the love that shines  from fair maidens' eyes.

begin

We’ll go stravaiging – that’s Scots for a wee casual wander – into one of Edinburgh’s secret villages, which look like they’re in Harry Potter’s garden. You may already know that the classic tale of the Boy Wizard was written in Edinburgh’s cafes, and was very much inspired by the look and feel of the city. In our wander, you’ll learn tactile ways of creating a time machine for your mind with your hostess Jane Bumar. An Edinburgh resident, she will share her artful techniques in one of her favorite oasis in the heart of the city.

wander

wander

We may not have Harry Potter’s ‘floo powder’ but we have the next best thing: our private char-a-bánc (the British call it a ‘sharrabang’!) to transport us away to the enchanted Scottish Borders and idyllic English Lakes District. Our tour partner, Brian from Personal Tours of Scotland will regale with tales of history in a narrated journey, providing perspective and wonder as thousands of years of history roll by.

transport

transport

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stay 

Dusk draws in, and the Scottish sense of ‘coorie’ (to snuggle, or nestle) becomes our world for the following days. We’re staying in our own private accommodations, with dreams of sheep in the nearby fields to lull you to sleep in this green and pleasant land.

interpret

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We gather wee treasures from the land, from our hearts, and from the bounty of nature. Nature ‘fills the well’, forever presenting a running stream of inspiration. Birds take wing on the wind, and so our ideas spring forth, gathering new names, and singing new songs of creativity. A synthesis of place, of precious time captured, and the outpouring of ideas that come when creatives gather, and new stories and chapters are born. We channel this spirit with fresh ideas and prompts, and weave them into a spell of land, and of time, distilling the essence of this all-important ‘Spirit of Place’. Yet, all this inspiration needs a nest to settle in - a home. Our time will be spent in a blend of sightseeing, workshops with special guests and ourselves, and individual crafting time to help you channel your own vision of a Cabinet of Curiosity. For what is that most important element of the artist’s mind? It’s curiosity! Your individual stories, told in mediums both familiar and new, form collections of extraordinary objects (found, and created) from the wonders of the natural world.

experience

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sojourn

Day trips bring inspiration at its most abundant as we show you our favorite hidden spots: a mysterious chapel with links to Knights Templar (and the Holy Grail!), ruined abbeys with their tumbledown tombstones nestled in wildflowers. Craggy coastlines with sheep nipping at the sea-salt tinged grass,
fishing villages with ice creams that you can savor overlooking boats drifting into the working harbors. Time-honored histories of wool, tartans, and tapestries with meandering streams that powered this legacy in times past. A holy island, a castle by the sea with a ‘very curious’ forbidden garden that just
might encourage a few flying flights of fancy. A special wander to another country, in the footsteps of Miss Potter and her dear little bunny friends. Lakes, daffodils nodding in the breeze – it’s all here, and we’re going to take you to experience all of it. As artists ourselves, we also know that sometimes less is
more, so if you prefer, you can relax and craft back at our lodgings, taking your day at your own pace. You are always welcome to curate your own experience of our days together, with quiet respect for nurturing your needs.

sojourn

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We’ll say farewell to our magical week by taking the scenic route home. We’ll have a final wander through quaint villages and wildflower-strewn meadows as we make our way back to the Capital City.
You’ll be dropped off at your chosen hotels if you are staying on in Edinburgh, or at the train station or airport if your journey continues from there.

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

ACCOMODATIONS
  • Seven night's accommodations in carefully chosen, historic and beautiful dwellings.
MEALS
  • A variety of meals including all breakfasts, daily happy hours with wine and Scottish nibbles, some lunches or afternoon teas, and most dinners.
  • VIP pickup and transfer from Edinburgh Airport. Our tour begins and ends in Edinburgh

  • Touring with a thoughtful mix of experiences all conducted by our professional Tour Guide from Personal Tours of Scotland, LLC.  Touring services include our own luxury private vehicle, narration of what we are seeing to understand the sights of this ancient land in context, all route planning and navigation, vehicle insurance, fuel, and of course, water and snacks along the way. So freeing!

    • Some days are full of sightseeing, whilst taking into account our unique needs as artists.  Even on these days, we stop and smell the roses.

    • Other days are a blend of classes, individual crafting and exploration time, or tour excursions – balance is key!  We guarantee you will feel and experience the sights of this wonderful country, but also have time for your creative practices.

  • All classes and workshops.

  • A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.

  • Most supplies needed for your classes. You are welcome to bring additional materials!

 

 

  • Shared Room $3,600.

  • To enhance your experience, we keep our groups small.  We welcome a maximum of 12 attendees.

This retreat is sold out.
Registration will open soon for Autumn 2022.  
Click here to request registration information.

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2021 Autumn retreat is sold out.
 Registration for 2022 retreats is now open!